The opening date is approaching for ORIGINS an exhibition by Georgina Lohan at the Craft Council of BC Gallery June 30th – August 11th, 2016. In the lead up to to this exhibition we asked Lohan some questions to find out more about her art practice and inspirations.
Tell us about your journey as an artist.
The quest for knowledge is the great adventure. I am lucky to be living in an age where so many things that were hidden before are revealing themselves now. The scope of my research into human culture and species co-evolution is an endless fascination. As I expand my understanding of our universe, I search for meaning from a vast concentration of details. It’s all grist to the mill. Fortunately, working with clay has a very grounding influence. My love of this world is what it’s all about.
What first made you want to become an artist?
When I turned 5 my father, knowing that I loved Vermeer, gave me an art book on the Dutch Masters for my birthday. As I unwrapped it, he told me that the meaning of life was in that book, but it was hidden, and I had to find it. Being very literal at that age, I examined each painting looking high and low for the meaning of life. I didn’t know what it was, but I felt sure I would recognize it when I saw it. I finished looking through the book to no avail, so went back to the beginning, thinking I must have missed a page. No luck again. I gave it another go, realizing that it was very well hidden indeed. I needed to know what it looked like, so even if it was very small or hidden under a rock in one of the luminous landscapes I was looking at, I would recognize it. I thought about the artist painting the picture, how he was so lucky that he found this amazing place where the meaning of life was and then painted it to share it with the world. That seemed to be the tipping point. I suddenly realized that life was the journey and the artist was like a scout who explored the world to find beauty and knowledge and was able to use his skill to convey his insight to those ‘back home’. In that moment I also realized the meaning of life was ‘out there’. I decided then and there the artists’ life was the one for me.
What emotional response do people have when they view your work or hold it in their hands?
A lot of my work is characterized by intricate surface designs or a profusion of detail. If it is a small piece, there is often a tendency to be drawn in to a close connection to the piece. On a large scale it can have a very different effect initially as it can be a bit overwhelming for some. This kind of work lends itself to more patient or repeated viewings.
What do you do when you are not creating?
Travel is immensely stimulating when I can get away. I can get a lot of mileage out of even a weekend out ‘a Dodge. Six months in Mexico changed my life. I also love to garden, swim, cycle, dance and cook, especially if I’m doing that with loved ones. A good book can be an inspiration. Knowing how to live well, whatever your means, helps balance the sometimes intense demands of the work.
ORIGINS an exhibition by Georgina Lohan runs June 30th, 2016 – August 11th, 2016
Opening: Thursday, June 30th, 6-8 pm
@ Craft Council of BC
1386 Cartwright Street, Granville Island